Skip to main content

Top Stories

SCU Alumni Rocking Silicon Valley Business

Six Santa Clara University alumnae have made the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2015 Women of Influence annual list. This list is comprised of “100 women rocking Silicon Valley business,” who have made a big impact across all professions. 

Santa Clara’s alumnae who made this year’s list have degrees in business, law, and political science. Below, read excerpts from SVBJ’s conversations with each Woman on Influence, and follow the links to find the full conversations. 

Aimee Catalano MBA ‘02
Vice President, Alliance Marketing

“With more than 17 years of experience in the high technology marketing field, she has held various roles in companies of all sizes including IBM, Interwoven, Informix, a startup now called Qumu, and a startup XenSource, which was acquired by her current company Citrix. And while her executive position at Citrix keeps her very busy, it’s her two young children that really keep her on her toes.”

Your best advice for others: From a professional side — no matter how urgent it is to fill a role, take a large amount of effort and due diligence in hiring your team.” 


Kerrie Romanow MBA ‘02
City of San Jose, Environmental Services Department

“As the director of the city’s Environmental Services Department, Romanow is responsible for San Jose’s 2012 plastic bag ban. The Bring Your Own Bag ordinance won a Helen Putnam Award for Excellence from the League of California Cities in 2014.”

Your best advice for others: Embrace what you tell your daughter. Believe you are smart, good looking and can do anything you set your mind to. Decide what it is that you want to do, I mean really decide, and then hop, skip, and run to it.”


Norma Watenpaugh MBA ‘82 
CEO and Founding Principal
Phoenix Consulting Group

“An expert in strategic alliances, Watenpaugh has helped companies including SAP, Adobe Systems Inc. and Xerox Corporation build better and stronger business relationships. She believes firmly that managing successful collaborations is both an art and a discipline; as such, she founded Phoenix Consulting Group in 2002 to teach those skills.”

The best advice you’ve ever received: I remember remarking to my dad at 5 years old or so that it didn’t seem fair that women could be nurses, but not doctors, or teachers but not principals. My dad was the penultimate man of few words. He just said, “Women would be fine doctors.” That moment was a paradigm shift in my thinking. I never felt I had to be less than what I aspired to be after that. Needless to say I didn’t become an astronaut, POTUS or Olympic gymnast, but that was due to my own choices and limitations — not those imposed on me by others.”


Saina Shamilov J.D. ‘01
Partner, Litigation Group
Fenwick & West LLP

“By day, Saina Shamilov is a star in the world of intellectual property litigation. As a partner at Mountain View’s Fenwick & West LLP, she has helped successfully defend, Inc. and Zillow in patent cases. Last year, she led a pro bono team that won a preliminary injunction on behalf of an ill inmate, in which the U.S. District Court directed the prison to provide the inmate with a medically appropriate diet.
By night, Shamilov is a competitive ballroom dancer. She competes all over the country and won a national title in Latin dance in 2010.”

Your best advice for others: Do not doubt yourself, but periodically access [sic] your goals to understand whether they are still right for you.”


Dori L. Yob J.D. ‘03
Shareholder and Litigation Department Co-Chair
Hopkins & Carley

“Yob, 36, has been with Hopkins & Carley since she graduated from law school. She handles complex real estate cases in hearings ranging from city council to state and federal courts. As the co-chair of her department, she oversees more than 55 other employees at Hopkins & Carley. When she’s not completing half-marathons or triathlons, Yob is planning her wedding.”

The best advice you’ve ever received: At least once each day ask yourself, “Am I living in what I am doing or am I just doing this to fill in the time until I can start living again?” I received this advice from John Hopkins, founding shareholder of my law firm, Hopkins & Carley. It has helped me realize the importance of living in the present and regularly checking in with myself to make sure I’m fulfilled both at work and in my personal life. Life is short; live in the present!”


Sherri R. Sager B.A. ’75 (Political Science)
Chief Government & Community Relations Officer
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

“For more than two decades, Sherri Sager has been the face of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to government agencies and community groups. She advocates for children and expectant mothers, primarily by working with government officials and communities on policy issues.”

The best advice you’ve ever received: ‘Focus on doing the best job you can at your current position and opportunities will open up. If you focus on the future, you are in danger of messing up the present,’ Congressman Norman Mineta. I always try to focus on the present and do the best job I can and wonderful opportunities have opened up.”

The Silicon Valley Business Journal will hold an event to honor this year’s 100 Women of Influence on Thursday, May 7, at The Fairmont in downtown San Jose.